miércoles, 21 de agosto de 2013

Jailed anti-crime militiamen released in Mexico

Mexican dailies reported on 21 August the release of 18 of the 45 members of an anti-crime militia detained on 14 August in the western district of Aquila amid the ire of local residents. The militia was one of several locals formed in Michoacán to protect themselves against the depredations of organised crime, which the state has failed to stop. Most of the 45 were jailed in the east-coast state of Veracruz; 18 were then said released for the levity of their offence - they were found carrying weapons used by the army and police - and were heading back to Michoacán under army protection on 20 or 21 August, La Crónica de Hoy reported, citing comments by Armando Ballinas Mayes, a security affairs spokesman for the state of Michoacán. One of many angered by the arrests was the poet and anti-crime activist Javier Sicilia Zardain who urged the militiamen's immediate release, observing that anti-crime militias were emerging around Mexico because the state was "weak and corrupt" when it came to fighting crime, La Jornada reported on 21 August. Mr Sicilia, whose son was murdered in 2011, told La Jornada in an interview held in Cuernavaca in south-central Mexico that the state was "becoming criminal, it cannot defend its people's security...people are defending themselves...and instead of arresting the criminals, they disarm and go after the people." Where he asked was the state that prosecutes "the real criminal offence" and protects citizens, also observing "we really are seeing the collusion of power structures with the structures of criminal power."